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Violent TV Blamed for Boy's Killing
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A 13-year-old boy is awaiting sentencing in north China's Hebei Province after he confessed to killing his grandmother, his aunt and a younger cousin on August 24.

According to police in Pixian County, the boy whose identity is protected by law said he used techniques that he learnt from movies and TV programmes to kill them.

The boy whom police have given the alias Xiaohua said he strangled his younger cousin, chopped up his aunt and grandmother, and burnt the corpses to destroy the evidence.

His motivation was the hatred he felt towards his aunt after his mother repeatedly criticized her in front of him, said Yang Zhitong, a senior official of the county's public security bureau.

While his aunt was out working in the field, Xiaohua prepared gloves, ropes and other tools, police said. He then strangled his cousin and waited for his aunt his father's sister-in-law to come home.

When she arrived, the boy covered her head using a bed sheet and chopped her 17 times using a cooking knife, police said.

Xiaohua's grandmother accidentally walked in on the scene and was terrified. The boy slashed her to death. Later he set fire to his aunt's house with the three bodies inside.

Xinhua reporters were allowed to interview Xiaohua, who told them that detective TV dramas and movies were his favourite, and that all his murder ideas had come from those.

The case has aroused extensive attention from various circles.

"Parents should not show hatred in front of their children," Tong Lihua, director of the Underage People's Protection Committee of the All China Lawyers' Association, told China Daily yesterday.

"Excessively violent scenes on TV, on websites and in movies have caused many criminal cases among the young."

Zhou Yongping, director of the China Youth Development and Policy Research Institute, said: "If parents and schools can be well informed about what kind of new information children have acquired and give them a positive direction, many children would probably not (become criminals)."

(China Daily September 12, 2006)

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